Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Birth & Death of Dreams

More and more recently within the past 6 months while encountering the frustrations and despair of being in limbo at length with this whole transfer of major in particular, I've found myself to be frequently and easily drained of mental and thus emotional energy. (Whereas previously it was a pang of anguish each time there was an indication I was in the wrong major... and that nobody cared.) Questions plagued me of course: Am I doing the right thing? Is this the right way to go about it? What am I fighting for? In my interactions with deans I find myself to be highly anxious and I can't hide it in all its sweaty glory (not that I can't but because that would be almost dishonest or seen as disingenuous to seem affected).

But then there's the anger and frustration, I'm acutely aware that to become successful I need to fail, but doesn't 30 years of what most people would consider "constant failure" account or even count for anything? Or that this is fourth university I'm attending, in an attempt to finish my studies and get that god-forsaken piece of paper called a degree despite attending 3 years worth of schooling, maybe even 4? Why am I facing this wall yet again when I've learned these lessons before... I don't believe in God, I don't believe in Karma. I believe there's something to be learned, definitely. But that's it...

So what I've been wondering is why I feel so intensely despairing and also behave the way I do in these very normally stressful situations, and why it makes my voice tremble with sadness and longing that studying what I want and finishing what I've started matters so much to me. To figure out what are these dreams of mine aside from the vague idea of creating, and not just as dreams, the visualisations of wishes and hopes but to fulfillment. And that's to delve into the origins and beginnings of these dreams.

When I was young I would draw on scrap papers my father would bring home from work. I'm not sure if it was ever a dream to become an artist, but I did enjoy the process of drawing. From the many books on painting and sketching from my older sister's courses in art, I would flip through and try to understand what they were doing. I did win the competition for drawing several times, but again, I'm not sure if it was ever a dream to become an artist. If anything from what I hear, I fantasized being a singer apparently, singing and dancing in a room by myself as a young child while my sister and mother giggled to themselves as they watched on through a crack in the door. Whether conscious of being watched or not, I wonder if at that time if I had any dreams. My sister would tell me to try to draw and sketch from books, trying every way possible to cultivate my learning. Then there was the opposite where, as I got older, my flimsy dreams were crumpled and discarded in the rubbish bin, or torn into pieces, or hidden away. Why? And why is it only now that I have more wishes and hopes of becoming, imagining, transforming than before?

The realisation of some kind of answer is perhaps within fulfillment. If Maslow's pyramid is correct and applicable to this situation, then I've been stuck in the lower rungs of the pyramid for so long that my only hopes were to survive on the most basest level and thus never reach self-actualisation. I had fantasies, but they were not achievable dreams nor things I hoped for. I remember being intensely frightened to hope, only a year and a half ago when I applied here to this university, terrified and fearful of rejection. And all my dreams were again easily discarded or displaced with the desire for belonging, friendship, safety, security. I understand this better, not completely and not entirely sure how to steer this ship from here but knowing and learning, and knowing I have to continue fighting forever for whatever it is I want. And the thought already tires me...

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